Video: From Living In A Tent To EWS Racing & Presenting at Pinkbike - Getting To Know Christina Chappetta

Feb 16, 2021 at 8:25
by Pinkbike Originals  


Many of you will know Christina as Pinkbike video presenter, but did you know she has also finished top 10 at an EWS race? Or that she lived in a tent for almost two months when she moved to Whistler? Join Christina to find out how it all started.


Where are you from?


0:14 - I grew up in Slidell, Louisiana, which if you are not familiar with the United States, it's the most Southern part. I actually loved growing up there. There's no mountains, no elevation whatsoever, but there's a lot of cool culture. We grew up in the woods near the bayou, so it's way different from where I live now.


What was it like growing up there?


0:22 - Early life for me was just super fun. I grew up with three older brothers and I was always trying to hang out with them and keep up with them.


When did you get into sports and how did that pan out?


0:51 - Louisiana is all about sports. I think it was around 10, 11 years old, I finally got my parents to sign me up for soccer. My life took a bit of a change. Hurricane Katrina, you guys might've heard of that. I was 15, 16 at the time and yeah, it just prompted me to get out of Louisiana, moved in with my mom in Kansas at that time. I joined the men's soccer team there, which was really cool experience. I've never actually played on a men's team before that, and yeah, because of that, I got recruited and played college soccer.


What was it like playing college soccer?


1:25 - College soccer was in Kansas at Butler College in El Dorado of all places. It was an awesome experience but honestly, after a year of college competitive sport, I was pretty over it. I needed some change.


What sort of change were you seeking?


1:41 - At that point, I was going into my second year of college so I was 19 years old. I knew I wanted a change. I had been to Colorado with an ex-boyfriend, and I was like, "Man, Kansas is right next to Colorado. What am I doing over here in cowboy town? I could be living in the mountains." So I went to Colorado with pretty much no snowboarding experience, so you could imagine, every season I was there, I was dealing with big injuries, like broken bones and torn MCLs and surgeries, and it kind of became this recurring thing. I'd have fun in the winter and then I'd get a big injury, and then I would spend the rest of summer dealing with it, rehabbing, and then winter would come back and I'd be so stoked again. And yeah, in the summer, I was injured a lot, and so I just had to watch from the grassy fields in Breckenridge at the volleyball court, and I just watched what everybody else was doing, and there was a lot of mountain biking going on.


When were you introduced to mountain biking?


2:30 - And so after about three, four winters in Colorado, I was healthy enough one summer, and my roommate had a mountain bike, a little hardtail. So I was like, "Dude, can I just take your bike out and see what it's all about?" And they're like, "Yeah, sure." Literally, after day one, I was like, "I'm sold. This is my new sport. I now have something to do in the summer when I'm not injured."


When did you get your first mountain bike?


3:04 - From that moment, one of my girlfriends, we snowboarded together and she's like, "Yeah, I'm going to get a mountain bike too." She and I literally had no idea what we were looking for, but we went in, we got matching SCOTT hardtails, 26 inch, all the gears, and we just sent it. A couple of weeks later, I think we went to Moab for a week, and so that's literally where I learned to ride my bicycle, was Moab, and it was just dirt roads. We weren't hitting trails. I don't even know if there were trails back then, but yeah.


How was it for you to get into biking in the beginning?


3:40 - It was hard. I would say all the gear, no idea, but I didn't have any gear. My little helmet back then, I thought it was cool because it looked like the skater helmets. We'd wear high knee high socks to protect my ankles. My first pair of bike shoes was actually an old pair of indoor soccer shoes, because they're like nice and flat and pretty firm. So yeah, I just kind of threw myself in there, but I had no idea what I was doing. So before I knew it, I actually had three bikes. Started on the hard tail cross country bike, then I got the downhill bike for 300 bucks, and then one night at the bar, my buddy sold me his dirt jumper as well. So I just kept saying "Yes, yes, yes. I'll have that."


How did the move to Canada come about?


4:24 - The move from Breckenridge to Whistler was definitely not planned. Again, I just kind of grabbed everything and went. Colorado is known for road riding, extreme athletes and cross country, so I was pretty keen to get out of that scene. I knew that it wasn't going to be for me, and yeah, Whistler bike park, that was... Again, I just worked really, really hard all winter long, saved up enough money to buy a bike park pass and just threw my bikes on the truck, came up and just started riding every day.


What were the early days of Whistler like?


4:58 - I lived out of a tent probably for at least a month, month and a half in Whistler, and then not too long after getting to Whistler, I met my current boyfriend, Sam, and funny story, I was hanging out at Sam's house one night, went back to my tent, and it had been beared. I don't know if that's a technical term, but that's just what I call it. It was a tent in the woods with a little camo tarp over it so nobody would mess with me, and sure enough, a bear came and just tore it apart. There was nothing in there. There was no food, no toothpaste, nothing like that. I think it had just been there for a couple of days. So anyway, that was around midnight. I go back to Sam's house and I'm like, "Oh my God, there was a bear in my tent." And from that moment on, he was like, "Okay, I don't know you, crazy woman, but you can stay at my house because I'd feel really bad if a bear attacked you at nighttime."


When did you know Whistler would be your new home?


5:53 - Coming to Whistler, I had no intention of moving here and making this my long-term home. I just thought, "Hey, I have a bike park pass. Let's go camp, do some biking." But what happened was I came here and day one, I was just blown away and just had to figure out how to stay here a little bit longer. But I just started hanging out at Evolution Bike Shop because as a homeless biker, you need somewhere indoors to hang out sometimes. Once I wiggled my way into that family, again, I knew, okay, I have to come back to Whistler for winter, I love snowboarding, I want to check it out in the winter. And it was my boss there, Jenine, who was like, "Hey, don't waste your time getting a work permit. Let's just get you residency." "Okay, sure. I want to be a resident," and we just immediately went into that process and she held my hand the whole way and supported me, which was pretty awesome. But yeah, it all came together through the bike shop, which is pretty nice, magical.


What prompted the idea to head to Whistler of all places and bike parks?


6:51 - So my first year riding in Colorado, I was just getting used to biking. I rode with a lot of guys that were really good and there weren't many women there at all, which was another reason that I wanted to go to Whistler. I saw that there were people like Katrina Strand and Claire Buchar and Beth Parsons and just some rad women, and Women's Wednesdays, and I was like, "Okay, I got to go be part of this."


When was your first bike race?


7:15 - My first race would have been the second Wednesday that I was in Whistler. They do the Phat Wednesday Downhill Series, and again, I was just like new kid in town, standing there with my bike in the lineup, being not anti-social, but not talking to people because I didn't know anybody. I think I got a top 10 on a Fat Wednesday, which if it's your local hill, you're like, "Ah, whatever." But for me, it was a huge deal. It was my first mountain bike race ever, and it just kind of sucked me in. I thought I wanted to be a downhiller at that point.


What bike did you race then?


7:45 - I was on a Sette. I got it on a deal. I think they had one extra small left for $2,000 or something, and I was like, "Yep, taking it all the way to Whistler."


How did you racing progress after that first Phat Wednesday?


7:56 - My racing career from that first race progressed very slowly. So I was crashing all the time, so the first I would say year or two, it was pretty slow starting. I wasn't actually a good mountain bike rider at that point and so I was just building skills, going to all the Wednesday night races religiously. And then it was probably I want to say three years later, after a couple of downhill injuries, I got introduced to Enduro riding. My first Enduro race was the Squamish Gryphon. It was super low stress, and so I was like, "Oh, I can just go out and ride with some friends." And I actually did really well and I won the amateur category so everybody's like, "Oh, you're sandbagging." This and that, and I was like, "No, no, you don't understand. I have no idea what I'm doing. This just happened. It was a fluke."

I actually won one stage, or I was fastest through a section and I won 100 bucks, and to me, that was amazing because I paid off my race entry. I was stoked. I was going to be able to buy a beer. I was still just living paycheck to paycheck at that point, for sure, as you do with mountain biking. That was right before I broke my foot.

How did you break your foot?!


9:12 - I was going home, caught my pedal on the tires hanging from my handlebars and just hit the ground, smack. I broke the three middle metatarsals in my foot, just completely in half. I went to the doctor, they're like, "She's broke. You need surgery." And I was like, "No, I think I'm fine." And so I just went without the surgery, spent eight weeks on crutches, and that was the rest of the summer. That was all of July, August, September. Took me the whole month just to learn how to walk again.


How did this effect you following your new passion of enduro racing?


9:45 - The next year, I think I did all the BC Enduro series. I'd have to double check, but yeah, we went places like Kamloops, the North Shore, Penticton, some really cool places around BC. I did pretty well. There were some really fast girls, but I think I might've finished second overall in the series that year. Once I had that under my belt, I earned a wild card entry into some of the EWS's, and so the following year, I went to Aspen. That was my first ever EWS. The next month was the Whistler EWS, and I did pretty good. I got 15th at that one and I was like, "All right, things are happening." And so that for me was a bit of a turning point, seeing that not only was Enduro getting more and more popular and bigger, especially for women, but seeing that companies had a bit of interest in it. So people like Transition, back in the day, I think it was Maxxis gave me some tires. And NRG as well, a distribution business, hooked me up with little things here and there. And that just kept stoking the fire to keep doing it.


What has been your best result from racing?


11:01 - Probably the best result that I've had is my sixth place finish at the EWS Whistler in the pro category. That was 2018. Just that entire season, things were happening. I was healthy, I was strong, I did the right stuff in the off season for once, and some other good results that season were I went to Mountain Of Hell race in France, Les 2 Alpes. That is for sure the craziest thing I've ever done on a mountain bike ever. I got second there, and then my other result that I'm really proud of was second at Trans BC Enduro, which is six days of Enduro racing in British Columbia.


What has been your worst race result?


11:42 - My worst race result and probably worst race experience would have been Canazei, Italy. The Dolomites in Italy. That was 2019. I actually got heat stroke on race day. The temperatures there, they were gnarly. That was the year that Tour de France, riders were dropping out like flies. It was so hot, the Eiffel tower was expanding, and we were in the Dolomites, just suffering.

So it was after stage one of that race. It was pretty grueling, top to bottom, big stage one, got to the bottom. I was dry heaving and doing some pretty weird things, but nothing really out of the ordinary, I would say. And then we were going over to stage two, I got to the top where everybody was hanging out, getting ready to drop in, and I just started projectile vomiting, like out of a movie. Everybody around me was like, "Oh my God, what is happening? This girl's dying in front of us." And of course, as you do, you've gone all that way. You're going to do the darn race, and so I was like, "Well, I'm here. I got to get back down to the valley. I'm going to run this stage." Did the stage, actually had a pretty good stage, but at the end of the stage, I basically collapsed onto the ground.

And so long story short, for whatever reason, I thought I could get to stage three, even after all that. And Georgia was with me and we got on the gondola together, we're going up stage three and I was just puking in the gondola, so far gone that she's like, "Christina, you're going to stay in the gondola. You're going to go down." And I'm like, "But I want to get out and ride." And she's like, "No." So thank God Georgia did because who knows what would've happened? I could have freaking passed out while riding and have a much worse story to tell. But yeah, at the end of that stage, I just casually walked over to the ambulance there. They're all Italian, just hanging out, and I was like, "Hey, I'm sure it's nothing, but I don't feel so good and I just threw up a lot." And they checked all my signs and everything and literally five seconds later, I was down in the ambulance getting an IV. I just left my bike off in a bush, that's how dead I was to the world, and I spent the rest of the day in the IV tent, just getting back to normal.

So that was what we'd call a DNF. It's about as bad as it gets, did not finish. That was a bit of a doozy.


How did the rest of summer 2019 look for you after the heat stroke?


14:15 - I was having an awesome summer, just big days on the bike, again, building up for this Whistler EWS. It's the hometown, you want to do good. I was leading the Wednesday Night Downhill Series by that point which, if you're local, it's a pretty prestigious thing. World Cup Wednesday, most people know about it. But yeah, a couple days before Crankworx rolled into town, we always have the final Wednesday night race, and it was down Schleyer to Canadian Open. It's the famous race right before Crankworx. I had no business being there because I should have been resting, getting ready for the EWS, but I was like, "You know what? This will be good practice. If I can ride this on my trail bike at a good speed, then I know I'll be ready for the EWS." But I had a super nasty crash. We've got some good pictures of that. I broke a rib, I broke my wrist again, and I was gutted.

I was on the side of the trail. That feeling that you get when you haven't even hit the ground but you're still airborne, and you're just like, "This sucks." Not only because I'm going to be injured, but all this preparation I've been doing to be at the EWS, to get a good result, it's gone now. I can't ride.


What was your first race back after that injury?


15:40 - My first race back, I believe it was Trans-Cascadia. It's a four day race in Washington, Oregon. I had already paid for it and so that was my goal. And always, when you get injured, you can't just sit there and wallow in self-pity. You have to make a goal and carry on with it. So I broke my wrist, it was probably July 30th, two weeks before the EWS. And I told myself, "Okay, you're doing nothing. You're going to totally get better. You're going to Trans-Cascadia." And honestly, when I went down there, I was driving down to Washington and just, I didn't know. I didn't know if I could do it. I hadn't really ridden a bike until that moment.

"Let's just do it." And I took it stage by stage, day by day, had the most fun ever, but was in a ton of pain obviously. I did well, I got second at that one, so I was pretty jazzed.


How did the relationship with Pinkbike form?


16:34 - And then a couple of weeks after that, Jason at Pinkbike reached out and was like, "Hey, you want to do a Hot Lap?" And I just said, yes. I knew that this opportunity probably wasn't going to come back around again, so I was like, "Yep, down. Let's do it." The relationship started to build a little bit more, a little bit more, and then I think it was Brian and Jason, they kind of reached out and just said, "Hey, do you want to have a chat?" Just, let's see what our options are, if you'd maybe be interested in helping Pink Bike at that point.

I don't think I had in mind that anything was really going to come of it, anything big or life changing even, but I was like, "Oh yeah, sure. Maybe we could do a full Enduro series with me next year instead of Zoe, or we could do Privateer or something." But little did I know, it's going to be the full meal deal. Lucky me.


What were your initial thoughts at the time of job offer?


17:30 - There were many emotions. I think when the offer came on the table, it was immediately, "Yes. Whatever I got to do, yes. Let's do this. Let's build on it."


What was the transition in jobs like for you?


17:44 - Honestly though, I had no idea what I was getting into. It was also, it was a bit daunting, going from what I would say is an easy job, you know? Shop life is fun. There's no stress when you walk out at the end of the day, you're not taking any of that business with you. People just get to interact with you. They're on vacation, they're there to have fun and you're there to stoke them up. So I guess it was a bit natural transition in that way. I still love stoking people up, I'm always myself, which is how I would have been in the shop as well, so I guess I haven't changed a lot myself, just my job title.


What is the hardest part of your job?


18:22 - The hardest part of my job for me is being original, coming up with ideas that people want to see, that people are interested in, that somebody that's a bit newer to the sport can actually learn something. And maybe somebody that's been in the sport for a while, maybe they just keep learning more, or I can enlighten them to something that they hadn't thought about before. But yeah, it's really hard to be creative and come up with these videos that people actually want to watch.


What is the best part of your job?


18:53 - The best part of my job? I would say... That's a tough one. I love my coworkers, especially the video team. Everybody really meshes well together. When I go work with anybody, I don't feel like I need to do anything out of my comfort zone or be someone that I'm not, and I think that's really important.


What did 2020 entail with the first year at your new job with the video team?


19:15 - For me, making the videos on Pinkbike and more of the tutorial, information-based stuff, it just opens up a whole new level. Not only are we pulling in these Pinkbike viewers that already know how to ride a bike, already know how to send some drops and they can get better at it, and just creating this level of progression. The little videos that I've been doing lately, it's awesome work for me because it literally makes me stop and practice these maneuvers myself, which is something I haven't spent enough time on in the past. But then it's also bringing together so many different people, people new to the sport. And if nothing else, I think it's a really cool way to bridge the gap of say the parents and the kids. Kids these days, they're like getting good, getting good, riding with the parents, and then all of a sudden, they're way better than the parents and it's just no fun anymore. And the parents are like, "Okay, go off and have fun without me." My little riding buddy's gone now. So if we can bridge that gap and maybe a mom and a son can watch a video like that together, and then they can go find a little feature to session. Everybody's progressing and getting better, but more than anything, I think it's about having fun, not taking it too seriously, and just letting the sky be the limit. Don't ever top yourself out.


What have you got planned for 2021?


20:38 - Moving forward, in 2021, I want to get back to the things that I love, that keep me super stoked on mountain biking. So racing's obviously a big one, traveling, for me, is a huge deal, interacting with the local communities, having your bike be a way that you can do that. It's so cool when you go somewhere, you don't speak the language, but because you're on a bicycle and homie over here is on a bicycle, it's like you guys can communicate, you can have a sick run down. I would love... My ideal situation would be to get back to the races, but to offer some awesome behind the scenes kind of videos for the viewers out there, because a lot of times, what you see are the highlight reels or, "Oh, Richie Rude won again, and Cecile Ravanel won again. And that's fun and they're awesome people to look up to, but the reason I do mountain biking and the reason I like to be competitive is totally different.

It's the camaraderie that you get with it and the adventure, and going these places that you can't drive or you can't get a gondola to. I definitely want to bring a bit more of enlightenment of those places to the viewers, and just inspire them to get out there and do something different.


What suggestions do you have for those looking to get in to mountain biking?


21:54 - I would say for the people that want to get into the sport or just want to pursue it further, be inspired by those around you. Don't let little obstacles get in your way. I went from literally not knowing how to ride a bike to being a competitive racer on the scene in a couple of years, and it wasn't just because I was born with this natural talent. It was because I literally poured all my energy and all my passion into this sport. Even if you get into it and you're in the masters category, it's never too late. Everybody bikes. It's for everyone.








146 Comments

  • 203 7
 Christina's such great ambassador for the sport. I definitely appreciate her coaching videos and always pick up something to add to my skillset. One day, I hope to ride like a girl!
  • 54 6
 I accidentally downvoted you Madder Sorry! PB really needs to make it so we can change our vote.
  • 35 0
 Christina and Jason are really good presenters for pinkbike, nice additions to the video team!! Jason did those IFHT vids right (which are f*cking brilliant)
  • 3 0
 Agreed!!
  • 7 0
 Thank you! It's fun to get outside my usual comfort zone and crank out the videos while getting to ride more than ever! Stoked you enjoy the vids :-)
  • 101 2
 Imagine this from Sam's perspective:

"I met this woman, she came from Louisiana but now lives in a camo tarp in the forest. A bear tried to eat her and now she's in my house."
  • 48 13
 @husstler - Now, imagine this from every other guy reading this story:

Why can't I be the lucky guy who has a hot woman mountain bike shredder show up at my house asking to stay with me?
  • 47 4
 @jbravo: having your significant other ride can be a double edged sword...
  • 30 1
 @ReformedRoadie: yeah it's true.... she's always wanting to go further and drags me along.. I'll keep up one day.
  • 85 0
 Imagine this from the bear's perspective:

"I've been alone for months then I came across this tent. Sweet, someone to visit, I thought. The door was open, so I just went right in. Where did they go?? I dug all around that place and no matter how hard I looked I couldn't find them. And to make matters worse, they didn't leave any food. Not even toothpaste. Jerks."
  • 68 0
 From tent's perspective:
"Christina has abandoned me in a an unknown world for some guy called Sa- holy crap is that a bear???"
*Fade to black
  • 11 0
 I think living in a tent describes a lot of new Whistler residents.
  • 5 0
 @ReformedRoadie: My wife rides as do both our boys. There are rare times it works against my self-interest, but there are way more times it works for me, and the boys.
  • 4 0
 @jbravo: no doubt.
But I am just saying that things are not always so rosy as some would assume. I’ve witnessed some serious friction and angst when a couple’s idea of a ride doesn’t align
  • 4 0
 @ReformedRoadie: a double edge sword I wouldn’t mind getting stabbed with... I’ve been trying to get my wife out on the trails for ages. She’s even got a killer entry level bike, which is nice because it doubles up as my spare when I’m maintaining mine. Though it’s a bit small for me I’m lucky she’s tall haha. Never losing hope though! Maybe someday she will pedal even some mellow greens with me.
  • 7 0
 From the toothpaste's perspective:

"So you're just gonna leave me here in Louisiana, aren't you? Go on then don't mind me..."
  • 7 0
 OMG This is fabulous! He laughed haha but it was kind of a peculiar way that I'm still not sure how he feels about it
  • 3 0
 @ReformedRoadie: For sure. We spend a LOT of time together. Sometimes we aren't feeling the same ride, length, or timing is off... but for the most part, we drag each other out and thank each other after bc it's always worth it
  • 5 0
 @joedave: Keep at it! Share some videos with her and be totally open to going to her level. It's never fun to be intimidated by other riders, feel like you're too slow, or not able to ride all the features. I have walked many features over the years and still live by the moto "when in doubt, walk it out" bc there will always bee climbs too hard and features too technical but it's the fun stuff in between that make it worthwhile.
  • 45 0
 10/10 roommate. Would live with again.
  • 11 0
 If she ever wins those rainbows you can frame them side by side on the wall!!
  • 3 0
 @Vudu74: comment gold here hahahaha
  • 2 0
 Thanks Reece!!! One day we'll actually get to shred again hahah send my love to Charlie and Katrina 3
  • 38 0
 Thanks for posting the interview in words. Much easier to slack at work when you can read the article and not have to watch the video with the volume as low as it can go! Great story too!
  • 5 0
 Saying what the rest of us are thinking.
  • 4 0
 Cheers, I'm glad it worked out. Not gonna lie though, having read through the interview it was hard to SEE how I actually speak haha I'm much better at rehearsed things but I like that I didn't know or expect what questions to come up so it was genuinely me :-)
  • 25 0
 Thanks for sharing Christina. Playing soccer in Kansas to mountain bike racing in BC is quite the contrast ... lol .. glad you found it.
Idk how creative this Sam is, are you sure it wasn’t him that “beared” your tent ??
  • 2 0
 hahaha Now that would be something! His room mates were not stoked to have a random chick move in but thankfully they did. We're all still great friends.
  • 26 0
 Many thanks for posting the transcript! The extra time and effort y'all put into it is appreciated!
  • 7 0
 And they used the transcript to closed caption the video too, which is great for accessibility.
  • 6 0
 this! thank you!
  • 4 0
 Cheers! I'm so glad it worked out. It was a long one for sure but worth the effort. It's a small novel to read hahah
  • 16 0
 Christina is definitely the best personality pinkbike has hired in many years. She's an incredible asset and ambassador for the sport. I hope she and pinkbike are able to work together for the long term.
  • 3 0
 Thank you!! Me too :-) The sky is the limit and we're only getting bigger. Tons of growth to be had 3
  • 16 0
 Hey at least this video post isn't only a link to the video but an actual interview!
  • 9 0
 I met Christina at Trans BC Enduro in 2018 and then have had the pleasure of running into her at Evolution. She is one of the most personable people out there. Its like she was meant to be an ambassador to the sport. I can not think of a better personality to have on PB!
  • 3 0
 Thank you! That was one of the best weeks of my life for sure! I love seeing all the people I met there again and again. Small mtb world we live in.
  • 11 0
 Woah we went to the same college! I just didn't end being a pro racer
  • 3 0
 ahhh memories
  • 7 0
 Glad you did this PB. Christina is a cool person. Her positive vibes are contagious... reminds me a little of Tippie (in a less neurotic way!) They're both so stoked to their core that you can't help but catching a bit of the stoke!

I also really liked your insight about riding with kids. I'm at that stage now that I can ride with my boy and have a blast. I know it won't be long before I'm holding him back and he's like "see ya later old man", but I'm going to cherish the times I get to ride with him dearly. THe way you saw that and could relate... impressive.

Hope you have a long and successful carreer Christina. Beyond the hard work ethic, I hope people learn from you that a positive attitude is also just as important.
  • 2 0
 Thank you so much, those are very kind words. Great reminder to myself to stay positive and it always works out.
  • 1 0
 Came here today just to second this, and say she's a great part of mountain biking. What a nice story. I've seen many examples of riders who may have equal skills to each other... but it's the work that counts, and the stoke that counts to make a real career out of it. So this is good n inspiring!
  • 7 0
 Funny after all those accomplishments the one that impressed me the most was doing well in the local races at Whistler lol The level of competition for the local stuff is just ridiculous
  • 2 0
 No joke, being competitive on trails that everyone has ridden a hundred plus times is really hard!
  • 2 0
 Thank you. I feel the same. I got my name on a plaque!! Now that is something that will be there forever, or as long as the series goes anyway hahah tough competition here
  • 5 0
 I started the exact same way. I went out to Whistler to ski and picked up mountain biking a couple of years later. I lived in a tent for a couple of months. No bears ram sacked my tent though. Things happen for a reason. Good for you Christine.
  • 2 0
 Thank you. It's like a right of passage.
  • 5 0
 This was rad (and thanks for the transcription and time stamps!). Christina it was so cool to read your story! I know feeding the Pinkbike crowd isn't easy but you're doing a great job and have such a great perspective and background to add to this industry!
  • 1 0
 Thank you! hope it was easy to read. Lots of rambling on my end hahah but I'm happy with how it all came together.
  • 4 0
 I always enjoy the content with Christina, and she's right about it never being too late. My first race ever was the 2019 Trans BC at age 45 after missing it the year before from destroying my shoulder snowboarding the winter ahead of it. Keep up the positive vibes in the edits, my 9 year old son says he enjoys all the riding tips
  • 1 0
 Oh man! I was bummed to miss that year. Too busy getting heat stroke in Italy. Hope you had fun. Those are the best and gnarliest trails around by far! That's amazing you get to go riding with your boy 3
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: That week was a bit of a life changer for sure. We have very similar stories it seems...minus the great race career lol Trail riding with my boy has put an entire other level of love and joy for biking, can't wait for some dirt!! Keep up the great work!!
  • 4 0
 Christina is definitely of my role models and I love what she said at the end - if you work hard and pour your energy into something, you can achieve it. It's not about having some unique 'natural' talent or ability. I felt so inspired just watching this and hearing her story! Thanks for sharing Christina Smile
  • 3 0
 Cheers for that. I'm stoked that people watched the entire thing and took away some of the best parts near the end. It's true though. Natural talent can only get you so far. I find I do my best and create the best memories when making sure to have FUN. Party trains are essential to happiness also.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: Of course! I'm glad you put it out there and I'm sure so many other people will be able to relate and be inspired. Party trains are great for the soul!
  • 3 0
 What a fun story. The creative content from Christina has been some of the best stuff on pb. Squamish remains a mysterious place to me, despite having watched vids of riding there for 20 years. I'd love a little mtb-centric content that showcases this hallowed land from a local characters/history/etc. pov. I've always thought a series on some of those great, unknown characters of your local mtb scene also would be fantastic. If you've been in the sport long enough, you make friends/acquaintances who live all kinds of interesting lives, with a half-crazy passion for biking that pulls it all together (i.e. your average dedicated mountain biker is often anything but average). p.s. The bear, being a wise creature attuned to your history of breaking shit and moving on, surely ransacked your tent to encourage more permanent roots and to nudge you forward on this rad journey.
  • 2 0
 hahaha I love that vision with the bear! Everything happens for a reason and for sure this was a turning point for me. I love your ideas and have some things in the works. I always appreciate new ideas and avenues to follow to keep everyone, and myself, engaged so thank you!
  • 4 0
 What a powerful story! I don't know what I want to do with my life but man this sounds exactly like what i've been thinking. So happy to hear it's possible. Now I just need money
  • 2 0
 You don't need much to be honest. Hope you've got some new ideas swirling around.
  • 3 0
 I was thinking the other day, "this chick is pretty rad, who is she?, Pinkbike should post more info about their workers", and here it is!!
I wonder if the YouTube programing figured this out and told Pinkbike editors that a video about their presenters would be a good idea.

Freaking social media is controlling us!!!!
  • 1 0
 haha I don't know if YT suggested this but... it was about time I suppose. Thanks for being interested. More to come for sure!
  • 3 0
 Christina's story is yet another one in the plus column for not having anything to fall back on or an exit strategy. If you want something, want to do something you cannot do it halfway. This is true of any passionate pursuit. It is not the safe choice and it is not easy, but if you love doing something none of that matters. Also having her pleasant southern twang is a nice respite from the usual Canuckian (oh ya, no worries, eh, Tim Horton's, Toonies, LaBatts etc.) banter around here. Hahaha!
  • 2 0
 ahh yes, need to get that southern drawl going again. The ol' Toonie. That one confused me for some time.
  • 3 0
 Christina's contribution to the PB family of online, experientially based content is highly valuable across your readership demographics. She has skills, is charismatic, relatable to both skilled riders and beginners, and is a great ambassador for the sport and PB, not too mention your female readership. It's been a long time coming really, I'm glad PB and Christina found each other! Now with the accolades out of the way, you better be paying her on par with everyone else!
  • 1 0
 Thank you! It's hilarious to think back to when I got my dh bike on Pinkbike back in 2011 and was first introduced. Who knew it would lead me here but I'm glad it did!
  • 3 0
 I grew up in El Dorado, Kansas and fully understand the desire to leave. The major employers... two oil refineries, a fed max pen, as well as a state pen, and Butler Community College. No single track for at least two hours in any direction.
  • 2 0
 That's wild! What a place hey? Great memories though. So flat!
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: My dad was a psychology professor at Butler and he taught general psych as well as abnormal. Both he and my mom did grad work in Colorado and they made it a point to take us to the mountains every summer. Thus, the love for mountain biking. Congratulations on all your success in the last couple of years. I hope you stay healthy and keep doing what you’re doing! I love your videos.
  • 6 0
 More of these please. Would love to hear stories from other PB Staff.
  • 2 0
 Total support and respect for Christina (especially for throwing the Masters a bone!). It's cool to have a racer's attitude and perspective on PB staff. Racing is just something some of us weirdos have to do and although we never really expect to Win (but you never fvckin know!). Everyone should sign up for one race no matter how chill, core, or Soul they think they are. Especially if you're Old. Travel somewhere, meet people, and occasionally leave with a piece of tin (or wood nowadays) for the cubicle/garage. I can feel that fear and adrenaline of the 5 second countdown beeps right now........
  • 2 0
 For sure! For me, I love the adventure you go on with someone/people during a race. The Trans races are the best. Every day I ride with a different crew and get to meet people from everywhere. Everyone shreds too and has nice bikes haha it's summer camp for adults 100%
  • 3 0
 Thats what happens when you are a good person and really love what you do. Eventually sometime sooner or later you will do great out there. Cheers for her and her amazing story.
  • 1 0
 Thank you!
  • 2 0
 @Christina: are you doing any EWS? it will be cool if you do and recorded the whole experience, will love to see the race POV. SInce the first time you appeared on PB it was obvious you are a natural on the camera and a personality to match. Your BF should get you a ring ASAP Wink
  • 1 0
 hahaha 8 years on and still no ring. I really hope to get to some EWS this year. That's my main goal is to share a full race with yall, start to finish. The women's field is so fun too, We always have the best liasons and snack parties.
  • 3 1
 Christina, you're such a great asset to the PB team. It's awesome to hear your story (even a very summarized version.) Keep it real, girl! Looking forward to your 2021 content!
  • 5 0
 great presenter, I think she does a great job!
  • 4 0
 Christina is one of, if not my favorite presenter at pinkbike. Great energy and always useful information!
  • 1 0
 Thank you! That is so rad :-)
  • 2 0
 Well done girl. What a great story. You absolutely earned your coveted position at Pinkbike and i really like the idea about going behind the scenes at the Enduro races. That would be a really fun video series to watch .
  • 3 0
 Remember you working at Evolution Christina, good to see your face here and living the life ! Looking amazing on the camera. See you soon around Whistler ????
  • 1 0
 Oh that's awesome! I interacted with so many people through that shop! I love the stories I hear and the connections it brought me. I have Evolution to thank so much. I'll be here :-)
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: Sounds good Smile If you remember, I was the French kid riding on Banshee's. Good memories there. See you around the Sea To Sky !
  • 2 0
 Awesome thing for kids to watch. I think a lot of kids just are afraid to pick up and go so it's important for them to see that the first step is packing your bags and going for it.
  • 2 0
 YES! I have my mom to thank so much for that. She basically kicked me out of Kansas and moved me to Colorado hahaha I was so nervous but it was a crucial step to take at that age and have been independent since.
  • 2 0
 Really enjoy her videos but her hometown experience and my 2 nights at probably a seedy hotel in a bad part of town are far apart; I was scared for my life those 2 nights and couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there!
  • 5 2
 Her story is super inspiring to me, especially as someone who wants to eventually immigrate to Canada.
  • 3 0
 This is cool. I always wonder how people who get these jobs ended up there.
  • 5 1
 No way! Slidell MTBers represent!
  • 1 0
 Are you from Slidell?!?! No way! Not possible.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: Pope John Paul, Chamale Dr.. You name it. I couldn't believe you were too.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: Also, I bet you're the only professional mountain biker to come out of Slidell Smile
  • 5 1
 This video was very good. Do more of these please.
  • 4 0
 Everyone lives in a tent when they first come to Whistler - C$1000/month!
  • 3 0
 Plus good luck to make good money up there !
  • 1 0
 It's harder now haha the best spots are blown up! Luckily the climate here warrants outside living most of the year lol
  • 2 0
 Without a doubt, Christina is one of the best presenters in MTB these days. Her honesty and genuine love for the sport is apparent.
  • 4 1
 Spent a few months in a tent & car once. God damn pay showers...
  • 3 1
 Awesome video. Like this kind of content! Christina is a good add to the team. Smile
  • 3 1
 When I saw this vid was 20 odd minutes long I didn't think I'd watch it all. Didn't skip a second of it!! Excellent.
  • 2 0
 OMG that's amazing hahaha I was quite worried with the length but we couldn't cut the bear story down! It was too good.
  • 5 1
 SLY-DELL! Heck yes
  • 1 0
 No way you know of Slidell?! Used to be so little.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: I’ve definitely been there.. on a bike even!
  • 2 0
 So well spoken and personable... you are a great addition to PinkBike! Love watching your riding and coaching : )
  • 3 0
 Christina is one rad chick I gotta say. Glad she is on board.
  • 2 0
 So what's the story with Colorado? So much elevation and everyone rides XC? Wtf mate?!
  • 4 0
 So many get carried away with high country rides and connecting for 25-50 mile loops that the DH specific stuff gets brushed under the rug. Bit of a bummer but there sure is still some rad stuff out there! Some of us are trying to keep the DH alive!
  • 2 0
 @stormracing: Seems like perfect enduro terrain. But what do I know, we're here on the east coast trying to get rad with like 600 feet of elevation change Smile
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: it is for sure! But much of it can easily get done nicely on tallboy, optic, etc and that category of ride. Ah man, that’s rough haha. I couldn’t do that. I NEED the elevation
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: he we make due, there's some good riding, but it's what left coasters would likely deem "uppy downy" trails.
  • 1 0
 She's totally right. Nothing but roadies and XC. Don't bother coming here. Please. Pretty please?
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: YES! Please do! Every time I visit I ride new stuff. I remember being scared to death of those jumps at Sol Vista! They were massive!
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: hahaha it is actually superb enduro terrain but the elevation is insanely hard on the lungs. That EWS Aspen race nearly killed me. Even after having lived there, altitude sickness was very possible.
  • 1 0
 They're hardcore, I couldn't hang haha I moved to BC with so much endurance and lung capacity from the elevation but with 0 technical riding ability.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: always trying my best! Haha it’s a challenge but the terrain is there and been working with it! Just trying to find the crowd..

Oh yeah the Ol Sol Vista jump line was sweet!
You need to check out some of the hidden DH gems tucked around SW Colorado sometime! Some truly rad and incredible stuff around there
  • 2 0
 Thanks for sharing! I always like your videos! Make me want to go out and ride!
  • 3 0
 I like Evolution in Whistler they are so nice !
  • 2 0
 Great job! Keep up the great work. I've really been enjoying your presentations.
  • 2 0
 Thanks Christina, that's a good story ! Hope you'll be back at racing anytime soon !
  • 2 0
 And by the way, I like your tutorial videos very much, always learn a thing or two (... or ten) !
  • 2 0
 Good on you Christina!! We appreciate your never quit hard work ethic! Great story indeed!!
  • 2 1
 It's all got to start somewhere...and now look, what an awesome place to end up at it.
  • 3 2
 Anyone wanna put up me, my two boys, my wife and two dogs as I try to make in the race scene AGAIN!?!?
  • 3 0
 impressive story Smile
  • 3 0
 Shes awesome.
  • 2 0
 Very well qualified and very likeable.
  • 3 0
 thanx Christina!!
  • 2 0
 Great content PB. Rad story!
  • 2 0
 Good to know you Christina !
  • 2 0
 GREAT STORY! More of this please.
  • 2 0
 Rockin it chica, keep it up!
  • 2 0
 You've become a great presenter! THanks!
  • 2 0
 Christina is so cool! What a rad person
  • 1 0
 I made my girl wait 8 years. Figure I can drag the engagement out for 16 years now. Lol
  • 1 0
 This has to be the most down-to-earth and relatable interview, that I've ever listened to. So humble. Great watch.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta what a rad lady you are. Thanks for sharing your story.
  • 1 0
 This is one of the best interviews I've seen on PB. Incredible story, I loved it. Cheers Christina.
  • 3 1
 Thanks Christina! YEEEW!
  • 2 1
 Hoping to make a trip soon to BC as well that results in staying up there!
  • 1 0
 Slidell. Made me miss livepd. Rip
  • 2 0
 Christina is the best.
  • 1 0
 Interesting vid - great to hear your story.
  • 1 0
 Coil or Air Christina for everyday riding?
  • 1 0
 We stan Christina

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